New MSU communication programs prepare students for careers in today’s media

9/3/2013
  • Photo: Students operating a video camera

The fact that you’re reading this story on the Morehead State University website is just one example of how the world of modern media has moved well beyond the printed page. Content and information can now be delivered and accessed instantly across multiple platforms thanks to technology changing the ways we communicate.

With all of these new avenues for information to reach an audience, there are new career opportunities for communication students.

“The ways we can have conversations with others around the world is multiplying. So, the world needs more content experts, people who can produce information, tell stories, help others verbalize their positions,” said Keith Terry, department chair for MSU’s Department of Communication, Media & Leadership Studies. “It’s not just knowing how to present the message but it’s knowing what tools to use.”

With media’s ever-changing landscape, MSU now offers two new communication programs: Convergent Media and Strategic Communication.

Convergent media combines traditional areas of journalism and audio/video production with cutting-edge digital technology. With mainstays like journalistic writing and production, the program gives students a mix of traditional coursework and hands-on experience in the professional world of digital media.

Students with a degree in convergent media can pursue career options like multimedia news reporter, producer, director or editor for newspapers, radio, TV and the Web, graphic design, on-air talent or social media design.

Terry said the Convergent Media program allows for students to be both knowledgeable and proficient in various aspects of multimedia.

“That’s what people are being asked to do now,” he said. “You’ve got to know how to use all the tools in the tool kit, not just a couple of them.”

MSU’s Strategic Communication program is uniquely created for the purpose of teaching students how to develop effective communication and media strategies by emphasizing critical thinking, effective writing, persuasion and message creation. Focuses like crisis communication, ethics, conflict management and team building among others are designed to help cultivate relationships with an increasingly global audience and stakeholders in corporate, agency, governmental and media settings.

“It’s a communication program for people who are going to be managers and leaders after they graduate,” Terry said.

Career options with this degree are numerous and have the potential to allow graduates to eventually occupy influential positions, whether a student wants to pursue a future in public relations, event planning, social media or political and health communications. Terry said the degree program has piqued an interest in many students who see its potential to aid in their success.

“I’m surprised at the number of freshmen last year who chose this as a major,” he said. “There are a fair number of people who have seen the relevance in it.”

With MSU’s Convergent Media and Strategic Communication programs, the University is intent on evolving its communication programs with the times to allow its students the optimal chance for a promising career in today’s media marketplace.

“These two new programs developed by our faculty will empower our students as engaged citizens of the Commonwealth and provide them with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to be highly successful in the global 21st century workplace,” said Dr. M. Scott McBride, dean of the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education approved the new academic programs in February 2014. 

For more information about the Department of Communication, Media & Leadership Studies, call 606-783-2134 or visit www.moreheadstate.edu/cmls